Is Karl Alzner the answer to the Oilers' problems?

Jonathan Willis
May 17 2013 10:19AM

Photo by Michael Miller/Wikimedia

If the Oilers are going to make a heavy pitch for a defenceman they probably aren’t going to get, that defenceman shouldn’t be Shea Weber. It should be the Washington Capitals’ Karl Alzner.

Why Alzner?

What kind of defenceman do the Oilers want to add on their blue line? Ideally, they would obtain somebody young who can be a fit in a top-four role on the left side for years to come. It should be a player who skates well and is capable of moving the puck. A player used to seeing top opponents would be a good fit, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt if he had size on his side.

Enter Karl Alzner. The 6’3”, 213 pound defender turns 25 in September. He averaged a hair under 21 minutes per game in Washington this season, playing 17:17 at even-strength and 2:34 in short-handed situations. Here in part is how Matthew Coller, writing for Hockey Prospectus described him last summer:

Karl Alzner has turned out to be one of the league’s top stay-at-home defensemen. His size and skating ability make life difficult for forwards trying to enter the offensive zone and his hands make fast breakouts of the Capitals’ offense possible… Alzner is an All-Star caliber defenseman who is underpaid at $1.3 million; a restricted free agent after 2012-13, the former Calgary Hitman looks due for a major payday.

Going by behindthenet.ca’s quality of competition statistics, Alzner has led the Capitals blue line in two of the last three seasons; he has also been heavily leaned on in the defensive zone.

Why a trade is just barely possible

Photo by Michael Miller/Wikimedia

Then why on Earth would the Capitals trade Alzner? The answer is that they likely would not; he’s an excellent defenceman and the kind of guy every team wants. What opens the door, at least a little bit, is Washington’s salary cap situation. By my count the team has 11 forwards, six defencemen and two goaltenders signed for next year with a total cap hit of $58 million, leaving them somewhere in the range of six million to replace second-line centre Mike Ribeiro, sign restricted free agents Alzner and Marcus Johansson (34GP – 6G – 16A – 22PTS) and add one other player to the roster. It’s a tight fit.

A lot depends on how much money Alzner wants; there hasn’t been much in the way of news on contract negotiations yet (Washington’s season having ended only recently) but he’s one of those players who can be difficult to value because his primary contributions are defensive. On the one hand, he’s a top-two even-strength defenceman; on the other he’s a guy who had five points this year. He’s coming off a two-year contract where he earned less than $2 million per season; it seems a safe bet the Capitals will work hard to keep the dollars on his next deal modest.

An offer sheet is far from an ideal solution, but it might be a possibility here for a motivated Oilers club; more practical might be the threat of an offer sheet. Based on last year’s draft pick compensation rates (the salary cap is dropping, RFA compensation rates likely will too) the Oilers could offer a deal in the $4.0 - $4.5 million/year range and only need to surrender a first and third round pick next year in exchange; it’s a risk but Alzner is a good enough player to justify the trade if the Capitals declined to match. Alternately, the Oilers could threaten to offer something in that range and simultaneously offer an enticing package for Alzner’s rights.

The smart money here is on nothing happening, and Alzner re-upping with the Capitals at a modest cap figure sometime this summer. But because the player is such a strong fit for the Oilers’ needs both in the here and now and three years from now, Edmonton should at the very least talk to Washington about what it would take to make a deal happen.

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Recently around the Nation Network

In Vancouver, there seems to be some concern that young restricted free agnet defenceman Chris Tanev might attract an offer sheet from an opposing team. In Chris Tanev's Next Contract, Thomas Drance suggests that the team may need to trade the player:

To be clear, I'd much rather see Chris Tanev re-sign in Vancouver and continue to mature while completely owning secondary competition on the third pairing. But the Canucks might be wise to set an internal deadline for a Chris Tanev extension, and shop him in Newark at the 2013 NHL entry draft if the two sides aren't close by then.

 Click the link above to read the whole piece, or feel free check out some recent pieces here at Oilers Nation:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Mike Krushelnyski
May 17 2013, 11:16AM
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@DSF

Suck my enticing package

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#2 Todd
May 17 2013, 11:59AM
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Oilers suck. Alzer is too good. Edmonton is a joke. We have no prospects worth trading. Why would anyone come to Edmonton. Smid sucks. Petry is a piece of crap. 7th overall is crap, Yakupov sucks, Eberle is ugly, Hall is overated and gets his face stepped on too much, J Schultz is the worst rookie d man in the history of the world. OKC sucks, Texas is better. Musil, Marincin and Pitlick all lick pits. Vancouver rules, Wild rule, Calgary will rebuild faster. Kevin Lowe is the worst executive in the history of all sports. Peter Mueller is better than Yakupov. Dale Tallon is the best GM in the world and the Oilers should dream of being like Florida.

There. Got all of DSFs talking points out in 1 comment. Now we can all ignore him.

FOR THE LOVE PLEASE IGNORE DSF. DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM. HE IS A COMPLETE DOUCHBAG JUST LOOKING FOR YOU TO RESPOND TO HIS IRRATIONAL COMMENTS.

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#3 Will
May 17 2013, 11:16AM
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Regardless of if we get this guy or not, it's nice to hear other options out there outside of Shea Weber as the saviour for the OIlers.

Even if Mac T lets go some of the useless contracts and gets 4 of his 8 players, that would be a step in the right direction. Here's hoping one of those four is a significant player like Azner.

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#5 ghostofberanek
May 17 2013, 12:18PM
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@DSF

Another thread hijacked by the biggest problem with this site. What does Minnesota have to do with this article again?

Pleeeaaasse Oilersnation, ban that tool!! Get him off of here!

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#6 ghostofberanek
May 17 2013, 11:30AM
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Don't do it guys. Don't get sucked into "youknowwho's" spiral of negativity and verbal diarrhea. I see an excellent opportunity to have a good hockey discussion here.

I for one am all for going after Alzner, who's a bit better than Tyler Myers in my opinion. We have lots to offer a team like Washington, and I think we certainly do have a chance at getting this type of player.

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#7 Shredder
May 17 2013, 03:13PM
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Sometimes I don't even know why I read the comments in these blogs. I like reading Willis' articles, that's why I came here...why do I then scroll further down to see a DSF opinion, or one of the "others"...?

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#8 geno
May 17 2013, 08:19PM
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DSF wrote:

Most of this is nonsense but a few corrections.

Sam Gagner was 4th among Oilers forwards in TOI in his rookie season...not "3rd or 4th line minutes"

He was 3rd in PPTOI.

You mean the Turris who has 5 points in 6 playoff games?

You mean the JVR who just had an 18 goals season? (pro rates to 31 goals)

And Hickey, who played 34 games for Islanders and was +9.

While I agree it was a weak draft, my point remains that Gagner is not blowing away his draft year...he was just afforded a head start on when most young players get a chance.

hickey just got into the league and is a #5 D man at best

yes the kyle turris that had 9 less points than gagner this season and tht has never breached 30 points

yes the JVR that had 6 less points than Gagner and has never breached 40 points.

also no one said he was the 2nd best player from the draft. He has the second most points.

"how dumb of EDM not to draft wayne simmonds 6th overall, he's so much better"

I wonder if at the time of the draft..wait for it...one player is better than another :O. How dumb of PHI not to take Subban 2nd overall! How dumb of LA not to take Benn 4th overall! How dumb of oiler fans to pay attention to a troll and how dumb of oilersnation for not banning him!

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#9 John Chambers
May 17 2013, 11:37AM
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Now this is a list of prospects George McPhee is certainly growing a boner over!

The next NHL dynasty with 58 home playoff games upcoming over the next 9 years: Coyle 37 8-6-14 +3 Granlund 27 2-6-8 -4 Zucker 20 4-1-5 +4 Falk 36 0-3-3 -9 Scandella 6 1-0-1 -1

Anaheim's upcoming dynamo: Peter Holland 3-2-5 +4 (He's 22 and a far better C than Sam Gagner!)

Mr. Tallon's sexy prospect pool: Howden 18 0-0-0 -11 Bjugstad 11 1-0-1 -8

Nobody would be interested in the Oilers trash. Good grief! Paajarvi 42 9-7-16 -1 Sam Wellwood 48 14-24-38 -6 (washed-up 23 year old)

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#10 geno
May 17 2013, 11:55AM
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DSF wrote:

I doubt that Washington would move a sure thing thing like Alzner for a draft pick unless they were thinking of rebuilding, which they aren't.

that's why Willis is saying unless WSH sees upcoming cap problems it's unlikely. Kind of the content of the entire article.

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#12 geno
May 17 2013, 01:50PM
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DSF wrote:

Where you are getting tipped up is believing that all teams use thew same development process as the oilers...that is throwing young players into the deep end and hoping they don't drown.

However, that is not the case.

Deeper teams like Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago etc. instead build their teams with solid veterans surrounding their marquee players and force their young guns to EARN a spot on the roster.

Anaheim, for example had Getzlaf, Koivu, Winnik and Steckel playing very defined roles on their team meaning a 21 year old player like Holland has a hill to climb before he can makes the roster.

You may notice that, while Gagner appeared to be one of the highest scoring players in his draft because he got HUGE opportunity in his first few seasons, that other players are starting to pass him by as they get their opportunities.

Players like Voracek, Couture, Shattenkirk, Pacioretty, Perron and Subban, who were all drafted after Gagner, are passing him by.

Tallon's prospect pool is considered to be the best in the league

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/team-rankings/

and, although you seem to think the Oiler way is the best way, I suggest you try and take a more balanced view.

Good teams don't rely on rookies the way the Oilers do and even Tallon and the Florida organization are much more patient with their prospects which is why rookie of the year candidate Huberdeau was sent back to junior while a player like Justin Schultz was allowed to twist in the wind when things went south.

And, since you seem to be enamoured of plus/minus, might I remind you that Schultz finished the season with a sparkling -17

You're right. They should have sent back 22YO Justin Schultz to the AHL where he won D man of the year after playing 34 games. He should've gone there to learn more.

Also, if you weren't here to just troll, you'd know +- is useless. Look at Fowler's numbers the past 2 years. I guess because of his +- on what was a bad team makes him a bad player.

Also Gagner was playing on the 3rd and 4th line when he came into the NHL and put up 49 points in his rookie year. Pretty impressive feat for a bust, eh? Gagner currently has the 2nd most points from his draft class so don't use your everknowledgeable wit to say he was a terrible pick just yet.

Let's not forget who was drafted ahead of Gagner too. Turris, Hickey, and JVR? It's called a weak draft where you have to find gems later, like Subban and Benn.

Be gone troll

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#13 rickithebear
May 17 2013, 03:23PM
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Cash shortage?

He paid off 64M of his team purchase debt.

Only in NHL accounting does the money he pays debt with not count as money!

The Gagner fairy tale.

1. not a first line Center ? Points #17 in league. Power play production #9 center PK performance #3

Of the top 60 scoring centers: Gagner was one of eleven centers top 20 in hits for the group in Hits, Blocks, takeaways.

There were two centers top 20 in Points, PP, PK, hits, blocks, takeaways. one will be making 8.25 million in Anahiem. The other is an RFA for the oilers.

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#14 djc
May 17 2013, 10:54AM
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DSF wrote:

What "enticing package"?

You are probably right. If only we had the amazing prospects like Minnesota or Dallas have to offer in a trade. We could probably get Washington to throw in Ovechkin as well.

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#15 John Chambers
May 17 2013, 12:06PM
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DSF wrote:

Well, let's see.

P/60 5v5:

Coyle - 1.52 (QualComp 3rd)

Paajarvi - 1.54 (QualComp 5th)

It appears Coyle, while being younger, a rookie and facing tougher competition, did just fine.

Speaking of rookies, you forgot Jonas Brodin who got more than a few votes for rookie of the year including the vote of Edmonton's Jim Matheson.

The thing with Minnesota's prospect pool is how many there are considering where they've been drafting.

Odd you would throw an relatively old man like Gagner into the conversation about prospects so I assume you think Washington would be slavering to get their hands on him.

Considering Washington's centre depth incluses Niklas Backstrom, Marcus Johanssen, Mike Ribiero (UFA) Matt Hendricks, and a kid named Kuznetsov, I wonder where they would find a fit for Sam.

I think I see where you got tripped up:

UNLIKE Golf, the HIGHER the number, the BETTER the performance of the player. This is probably why you previously thought Peter Holland was superior to Gagner is because he's closer to par. Unfortunately it works the other way.

Same goes for +/- stats. The higher the - doesn't mean the player is shooting beneath par, it means they allow a lot of goals for - hence the reason Dale Tallon's prospect pool actually sucks.

Now that this has been clarified you can perhaps make fewer erroneous statements, and have your predictions seem less irrational and out of left field.

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#16 Gaz
May 17 2013, 02:19PM
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@DSF

Yes, but ultimately Pajaarvi did better! Woo!

Why do you hate Pajaarvi? Did his dad punch you in the nose and you funnel your hate on Magnus? Do his flowing euro-locks make you green with envy?

It's quite sad, actually. Love, don't hate!

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#18 @Oilanderp
May 18 2013, 08:14AM
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63 comments on an article about Karl Alzner, and maybe 5 comments mention the washington d-man. Great job, once again, ON. Every day I get closer to removing this site from my list.

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#19 YEGFan
May 17 2013, 12:12PM
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I wrote something to this effect in another thread but I came in late there and think it is applicable here:

Shattenkirk should be the target for a trade. Defence is a position of strength for the Blues and they just added Bouwmeester as a strong #2 defenseman for at least next year. They have several extremely important RFAs (including Pietrangelo) that are going to quickly eat into their cap space. If they can get their hands on a defensive prospect that is not due big money soon but could end up at Shattenkirk’s level (entry level contract bargain) and some other low salary assets, they would probably move him. The #7 pick or Marincin should be the centre piece to this sort of deal. The kicker is that St. Louis has no 1st or 2nd round pick this year; some cap flexibility and high upside assets could land the Oilers a long term top pairing solution in Shattenkirk. A guess would be Rajala, Marincin, and a 2nd for Shattenkirk (they will probably want Klefbom instead but I think Marincin would still be enticing).

The other team I see in a very similar situation is the New York Rangers with Ryan McDonagh. This is motivated by the Rangers needing to pay three RFA forwards in their top six (they currently make less than 1M a year and are playing important minutes, Stepan is being used as a #1 centre, he’s getting a big raise) and having Girardi and Del Zotto (both due new contracts in 2014) to be the top pairing. McDonagh would likely get at least 5M in the open market (Carle got 5.5M last year) and that is a lot for a 2nd pairing defenseman when you have two bargains locked up for next season. Again, no offer sheets, make the trade. I think the Rangers would want a player to go back the other way. They didn’t add a Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline. They will also want an asset that could turn into a McDonagh in a few years (entry level contract bargain). I think the 7th pick (Nurse?), N. Schultz, and a 3rd rounder is a decent place to start. I choose Schultz because he is worth less than Petry (the centre piece is #7), his contract is over when it’s time to pay Girardi and Del Zotto, and he will still be cheaper than what they probably have to pay McDonagh in 2013. The Rangers also have no 1st or 2nd round picks this year…

I know Marincin and #7 are nice assets to have, but I like the idea of negotiating with two young proven RFA’s to be the Oilers’ top defence pair a lot more.

On a slightly different note, I would look to trade Hemsky for a pick, the Oilers are severely overpaying their 2nd 3rd and 4th lines and all we hear on these boards is how that is the team’s weakness. It should be our strength. I’d hit up Columbus with that offer. They have 3 first rounders, two of which look to be pretty late. If you throw a late 1st round pick into the deal with Marincin for Shattenkirk instead of the 2nd rounder I think that looks a lot nicer. This also frees up the salary to actually be able to afford a player in the 2.5M range to move up and down the line up (a Bickell or a Stalberg). Read this article to see the inspiration for a lot of this post: http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/5/2/4286078/three-years

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#20 Quintana
May 17 2013, 12:16PM
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DSF wrote:

What "enticing package"?

The magnificent Dallas AHL prospects............Benn, Connauton, Oleksiak......but the Capitals should have too add more!!! Oh wait....nevermind!!!!!

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#21 RexLibris
May 17 2013, 01:21PM
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I remember watching the 2007 draft and one of the early stories of round one was McPhee stumbling as he announced the Washington pick. He wanted Gagner but his scouts liked Alzner better, so when he went to the podium he almost said "from the London Knights" but corrected himself.

I'm not saying that it would be a Gagner for Alzner trade, but if it were it would certainly be one of hockey's little ironies.

A package for Alzner would probably have to be a young defenseman (I would offer Musil) and a young NHL forward, for which Paajarvi seems like the most likely name, then perhaps try to make up the difference with a draft pick.

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#22 CalgaryOilerFan
May 17 2013, 01:29PM
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DSF wrote:

Where you are getting tipped up is believing that all teams use thew same development process as the oilers...that is throwing young players into the deep end and hoping they don't drown.

However, that is not the case.

Deeper teams like Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago etc. instead build their teams with solid veterans surrounding their marquee players and force their young guns to EARN a spot on the roster.

Anaheim, for example had Getzlaf, Koivu, Winnik and Steckel playing very defined roles on their team meaning a 21 year old player like Holland has a hill to climb before he can makes the roster.

You may notice that, while Gagner appeared to be one of the highest scoring players in his draft because he got HUGE opportunity in his first few seasons, that other players are starting to pass him by as they get their opportunities.

Players like Voracek, Couture, Shattenkirk, Pacioretty, Perron and Subban, who were all drafted after Gagner, are passing him by.

Tallon's prospect pool is considered to be the best in the league

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/team-rankings/

and, although you seem to think the Oiler way is the best way, I suggest you try and take a more balanced view.

Good teams don't rely on rookies the way the Oilers do and even Tallon and the Florida organization are much more patient with their prospects which is why rookie of the year candidate Huberdeau was sent back to junior while a player like Justin Schultz was allowed to twist in the wind when things went south.

And, since you seem to be enamoured of plus/minus, might I remind you that Schultz finished the season with a sparkling -17

Jakub Voracek 46 pts Max Paciotretty 39 pts Sam Gagner 38 pts Logan Couture 37 pts David Perron 25 pts

Only Player that appears to have passed him by Voracek. Otherwise Gagner is offensively performing in the same range as his peers.

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#23 Truth
May 17 2013, 01:35PM
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I think Alzner would be great as an Oiler. Would make an interesting situation with Smid and N. Schultz playing pretty close to the same game as him.

Gagner could not be a part of the package unless a legitimate #2 center is obtained prior to next season. The Oilers cannot afford to go into next season with the 3 following centers: Horcoff, Lander, Vandevelde. I only mention 3 because I have no idea who would even be #4. Belanger is gone with a buyout and Nuge will play his first game in mid November.

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#24 DSF
May 17 2013, 10:42AM
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What "enticing package"?

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#25 geno
May 17 2013, 10:55AM
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DSF wrote:

What "enticing package"?

likely something centred around the 7th overall

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#26 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 17 2013, 10:56AM
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When all else fails, aim low. The Oiler way?

Had a chuckle when I seen Dave Nonis yesterday commenting on the term "untouchable". He mentions how it's a much abused term when it comes to possible player movement. Good to see Terry Jones on the Shea Weber band wagon as well.

Who were we talking about again...oh, getting that 20th selection from the Caps. Hemsky, and the 37th for Neuvirth and that 20th selection?

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#27 Fisher
May 17 2013, 11:01AM
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WIllis for VP of Hockey Ops. Goodbye Howson. Giving a blogger a high ranking position AND sway within the organization. How's that for a bold move?

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#28 DSF
May 17 2013, 11:07AM
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geno wrote:

likely something centred around the 7th overall

I doubt that Washington would move a sure thing thing like Alzner for a draft pick unless they were thinking of rebuilding, which they aren't.

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#29 DSF
May 17 2013, 11:11AM
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djc wrote:

You are probably right. If only we had the amazing prospects like Minnesota or Dallas have to offer in a trade. We could probably get Washington to throw in Ovechkin as well.

Well, the Oilers top prospect is Oscar Klefbom who played all of 11 games last season.

What do you think he's worth?

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#30 Benny Botts
May 17 2013, 11:13AM
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If he is an RFA would you not just be trading for his rights to negotiate?? I could be wrong but I dont know how high of a price you want to pay to negotiate.

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#31 Johnny
May 17 2013, 11:40AM
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Hey DSF,

What's your take on Marty Marincin these days?

I'm pretty pessimistic about the Oiler prospect pool myself, but reports say he is playing top pairing minutes, and obviously doing so on a team that is showing success in the playoffs of the AHL.

For me, that is the best way to gauge defensemen...minutes and success of the team.

Considering he is freshly 21 and a rookie in that league, I would say there is some hope there.

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#32 Orville
May 17 2013, 11:42AM
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I really like Alzner. I would have no problem if the Oilers had to give up a first and a third round pick if they signed him through an offer sheet. I would happily offer a 5 year $23 million contract.

Alzner - Petry Smid - Schultz Klefbom - Schultz Potter

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#33 gcw_rocks
May 17 2013, 11:43AM
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I like Alzner much better than Weber. Pair him with Schultz or Petry and you have a heck of a tandem. Cap hit is better, age is perfect. Likely is used to cheating for defence playing with Carlson and Green, which makes him a long term partner for Schultz even if not in the short term.

The offer sheet would be interesting. Could you double offer sheet the Caps by putting out an offer on Johansson as well? Oilers could do worse than adding Johansson to thier talent pool. Certainly if you drive up the price of Johansson, then Alzner becomes harder for them to sign.

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#34 ghostofberanek
May 17 2013, 11:52AM
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Johnny wrote:

Hey DSF,

What's your take on Marty Marincin these days?

I'm pretty pessimistic about the Oiler prospect pool myself, but reports say he is playing top pairing minutes, and obviously doing so on a team that is showing success in the playoffs of the AHL.

For me, that is the best way to gauge defensemen...minutes and success of the team.

Considering he is freshly 21 and a rookie in that league, I would say there is some hope there.

Shhh, don't make him think that his take on anyone is relevant to anybody on here. I'm sure he'll be happy to tell us all that Marincin is a terrible prospect with no future.

I think Marincin needs to step up the physicality a bit, given his size, but he'll be a solid 3-5 d-man in 4 years.

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#35 DSF
May 17 2013, 12:00PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Now this is a list of prospects George McPhee is certainly growing a boner over!

The next NHL dynasty with 58 home playoff games upcoming over the next 9 years: Coyle 37 8-6-14 +3 Granlund 27 2-6-8 -4 Zucker 20 4-1-5 +4 Falk 36 0-3-3 -9 Scandella 6 1-0-1 -1

Anaheim's upcoming dynamo: Peter Holland 3-2-5 +4 (He's 22 and a far better C than Sam Gagner!)

Mr. Tallon's sexy prospect pool: Howden 18 0-0-0 -11 Bjugstad 11 1-0-1 -8

Nobody would be interested in the Oilers trash. Good grief! Paajarvi 42 9-7-16 -1 Sam Wellwood 48 14-24-38 -6 (washed-up 23 year old)

Well, let's see.

P/60 5v5:

Coyle - 1.52 (QualComp 3rd)

Paajarvi - 1.54 (QualComp 5th)

It appears Coyle, while being younger, a rookie and facing tougher competition, did just fine.

Speaking of rookies, you forgot Jonas Brodin who got more than a few votes for rookie of the year including the vote of Edmonton's Jim Matheson.

The thing with Minnesota's prospect pool is how many there are considering where they've been drafting.

Odd you would throw an relatively old man like Gagner into the conversation about prospects so I assume you think Washington would be slavering to get their hands on him.

Considering Washington's centre depth incluses Niklas Backstrom, Marcus Johanssen, Mike Ribiero (UFA) Matt Hendricks, and a kid named Kuznetsov, I wonder where they would find a fit for Sam.

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#36 DSF
May 17 2013, 12:02PM
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Johnny wrote:

Hey DSF,

What's your take on Marty Marincin these days?

I'm pretty pessimistic about the Oiler prospect pool myself, but reports say he is playing top pairing minutes, and obviously doing so on a team that is showing success in the playoffs of the AHL.

For me, that is the best way to gauge defensemen...minutes and success of the team.

Considering he is freshly 21 and a rookie in that league, I would say there is some hope there.

I haven't watched any of the Barons playoff games but he certainly seems to be performing very well.

He's got all the tools to make it.

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#37 @Oilanderp
May 17 2013, 12:04PM
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Nice work, J.W..Good find.

Alzner was picked 5th overall in 2007. IF (big if) our 2010 defenseman picks follow a similar development curve, we can expect them to arrive sometime in 2015-2016.

It's obvious we need defence. Let's hope MacT can find a team that has spent the last 5 years developing a defenceman for us.

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#38 DSF
May 17 2013, 12:24PM
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John Chambers wrote:

I think I see where you got tripped up:

UNLIKE Golf, the HIGHER the number, the BETTER the performance of the player. This is probably why you previously thought Peter Holland was superior to Gagner is because he's closer to par. Unfortunately it works the other way.

Same goes for +/- stats. The higher the - doesn't mean the player is shooting beneath par, it means they allow a lot of goals for - hence the reason Dale Tallon's prospect pool actually sucks.

Now that this has been clarified you can perhaps make fewer erroneous statements, and have your predictions seem less irrational and out of left field.

Where you are getting tipped up is believing that all teams use thew same development process as the oilers...that is throwing young players into the deep end and hoping they don't drown.

However, that is not the case.

Deeper teams like Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago etc. instead build their teams with solid veterans surrounding their marquee players and force their young guns to EARN a spot on the roster.

Anaheim, for example had Getzlaf, Koivu, Winnik and Steckel playing very defined roles on their team meaning a 21 year old player like Holland has a hill to climb before he can makes the roster.

You may notice that, while Gagner appeared to be one of the highest scoring players in his draft because he got HUGE opportunity in his first few seasons, that other players are starting to pass him by as they get their opportunities.

Players like Voracek, Couture, Shattenkirk, Pacioretty, Perron and Subban, who were all drafted after Gagner, are passing him by.

Tallon's prospect pool is considered to be the best in the league

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/team-rankings/

and, although you seem to think the Oiler way is the best way, I suggest you try and take a more balanced view.

Good teams don't rely on rookies the way the Oilers do and even Tallon and the Florida organization are much more patient with their prospects which is why rookie of the year candidate Huberdeau was sent back to junior while a player like Justin Schultz was allowed to twist in the wind when things went south.

And, since you seem to be enamoured of plus/minus, might I remind you that Schultz finished the season with a sparkling -17

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#39 ghostofberanek
May 17 2013, 12:25PM
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Sorry guys, I got sucked into the aforementioned "spiral of negativity" a certain poster creates. Should heed my own advice and ignore him.

Anyways, someone mentioned Shattenkirk? I was thinking about that too, but not sure he fills a true need. We need a lot of skilled toughness on our blue, and I don't think he fits the bill. Helluva player though...

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#40 DSF
May 17 2013, 12:26PM
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ghostofberanek wrote:

Another thread hijacked by the biggest problem with this site. What does Minnesota have to do with this article again?

Pleeeaaasse Oilersnation, ban that tool!! Get him off of here!

You may want to check who brought up Minnesota.

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#41 BlazeLazer
May 17 2013, 12:30PM
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Gagner and the 7th for Alzner and Tom Wilson. I like Gagner and don't want to see him go but I don't think that the Caps really have that much center depth if they aren't able to sign Ribeiro. Gagner would fit in nice as their 2C with Ribeiro gone, which may entice the Caps to make this move.

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#42 John Chambers
May 17 2013, 12:40PM
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DSF wrote:

Where you are getting tipped up is believing that all teams use thew same development process as the oilers...that is throwing young players into the deep end and hoping they don't drown.

However, that is not the case.

Deeper teams like Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago etc. instead build their teams with solid veterans surrounding their marquee players and force their young guns to EARN a spot on the roster.

Anaheim, for example had Getzlaf, Koivu, Winnik and Steckel playing very defined roles on their team meaning a 21 year old player like Holland has a hill to climb before he can makes the roster.

You may notice that, while Gagner appeared to be one of the highest scoring players in his draft because he got HUGE opportunity in his first few seasons, that other players are starting to pass him by as they get their opportunities.

Players like Voracek, Couture, Shattenkirk, Pacioretty, Perron and Subban, who were all drafted after Gagner, are passing him by.

Tallon's prospect pool is considered to be the best in the league

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/team-rankings/

and, although you seem to think the Oiler way is the best way, I suggest you try and take a more balanced view.

Good teams don't rely on rookies the way the Oilers do and even Tallon and the Florida organization are much more patient with their prospects which is why rookie of the year candidate Huberdeau was sent back to junior while a player like Justin Schultz was allowed to twist in the wind when things went south.

And, since you seem to be enamoured of plus/minus, might I remind you that Schultz finished the season with a sparkling -17

Ahh, but your original point in Comments #1, 6, and 7, was that the Oilers didn't have the assets to trade for Alzner. If you're going off hockey's future as your refernce (who rank the Oilers very high), then clearly they do.

However, now you're saying that they DO have assets, only that they rush them to the pro's too early - which I don't disagree.

So given that you've now fully contradicted yourself, how do you feel?

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#43 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
May 17 2013, 12:44PM
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@Jonathan Willis

One more year, like the last one, one more season on the outside looking in next April, and i'm sure ownership will be looking to cut costs.

Maybe they're there already, no? A guy like yourself can probably see possibilities of why he'd be moving in the next 18 months, no?

Nobody is untouchable. The money issue alone may be a difficult burden to bear for them already. Give them Ebs,Gagner amd Paajarvi. They're probably even a better hockey club with these 3.

We use to say never in a million years here in Edmonton when it came to Gretzky. Sometime common sense takes a vacation. Weber's not even in that Hall of Fame category yet. Just need one motivated buyer to have them start thinking about it. Lowe did Pronger, maybe he's motivated to get something started here again.

Come join the dark side Jonathan. You of all people, need to have an open mind.

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#44 719
May 17 2013, 12:52PM
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My Dale Tallon Impression - Let me just give away Grabner for nothing, something, something,something, Stanley Cup!

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#45 Rama Lama
May 17 2013, 01:15PM
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All indications trend Darnell Nurse as a future top four.......maybe we should be aiming at drafting and developing instead of overpaying for a UFA..........RFA is out of the question.

I like JW's idea of trading for a Karl Alzner type, but we would have to overpay.

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#46 Eddie Edmonton
May 17 2013, 03:06PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

They've already paid the worst of the Weber contract. They're not going to back out now after suffering through that.

Can you please explain this further?

Paid the worst of the contract? Which was? What are they paying him the rest of the way?

Why do you think they'll be stubborn and suck just because they got had by one agent?

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#47 Eddie Edmonton
May 17 2013, 03:12PM
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BlazeLazer wrote:

Gagner and the 7th for Alzner and Tom Wilson. I like Gagner and don't want to see him go but I don't think that the Caps really have that much center depth if they aren't able to sign Ribeiro. Gagner would fit in nice as their 2C with Ribeiro gone, which may entice the Caps to make this move.

If Gagner was his 2nd line centre: OV would ask for a trade or stay in Russia after the Olympics.

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#48 DSF
May 17 2013, 04:01PM
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John Chambers wrote:

Ahh, but your original point in Comments #1, 6, and 7, was that the Oilers didn't have the assets to trade for Alzner. If you're going off hockey's future as your refernce (who rank the Oilers very high), then clearly they do.

However, now you're saying that they DO have assets, only that they rush them to the pro's too early - which I don't disagree.

So given that you've now fully contradicted yourself, how do you feel?

I said nothing of the sort.

#1 What "enticing package"?

I asked Jon a question.

#6 "I doubt that Washington would move a sure thing thing like Alzner for a draft pick unless they were thinking of rebuilding, which they aren't."

My opinion on Washington's likely intentions

#7 "Well, the Oilers top prospect is Oscar Klefbom who played all of 11 games last season.

What do you think he's worth?"

A response to a childish assertion about how the Oilers prospects are the best.

And, of course, they have assets...all teams have assets...it's matter of which assets are you willing to move to get a player of Alzner's quality.

If you start with the 7th pick I would think you would also have to add the Oilers best defensive prospect which, at this point is likely Marincin, to even get Washington's attention.

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#49 DSF
May 17 2013, 04:16PM
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@geno

Most of this is nonsense but a few corrections.

Sam Gagner was 4th among Oilers forwards in TOI in his rookie season...not "3rd or 4th line minutes"

He was 3rd in PPTOI.

You mean the Turris who has 5 points in 6 playoff games?

You mean the JVR who just had an 18 goals season? (pro rates to 31 goals)

And Hickey, who played 34 games for Islanders and was +9.

While I agree it was a weak draft, my point remains that Gagner is not blowing away his draft year...he was just afforded a head start on when most young players get a chance.

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#50 Naky
May 17 2013, 04:38PM
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He was afforded a head start and has not suffered for it, for his numbers are the same or equal to all these other players you keep bringing up that supposedly had the luxury of sitting around and developing properly. And all on a team that was routinely amongst the worst in the league for the past few years, while these others are on better teams.

So who's really the better player out of them, the one that was thrown into the fire and came out of it just fine or the ones that got coddled and babied into their 'proper development' only to come out about the same in the end and on better teams with better support players?

Your argument doesn't have much merit so you really should drop it.

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